Saturday, June 4, 2011

Driver Quotes Following Saturday's Qualifying at Kansas

MATT KENSETH Qualified 21st: “We weren’t very good today in qualifying trim but the good news is that we are fine in race trim. The qualifying run is disappointing but I know we have a fast car for the race tomorrow so that is good.”

MARCOS AMBROSE Qualified 35th: “The heat doesn’t change our run much, we just weren’t very good. We will just take what we can from today and look forward to tomorrow’s race. This place is a great track and I really enjoy coming here. I tend to run well here but if you miss it a little bit you pay because there is not the banking to help you. We are going to have to drive through some cars to get to the front tomorrow.”

AJ ALLMENDINGER Qualified 26th: “This heat is something. It is one of those things that’s just tough not having a Saturday practice with conditions like this. You just don’t know and it is so hot out and so slick. We aren’t very good either which is part of it. We just aren’t good right now and need to keep working on it.”

Ragan liked his practice and qualifying session (Getty)
DAVID RAGAN Qualified 19th: “So far so good. I really like this place. It is neat to come out here at a different time of year with different weather and different tires and different scenarios for our UPS team here at Kansas than we are typically used to. Qualifying was okay. We went later and the track is a lot more heated than it was to begin with. I think our Ford is pretty fast for the race and this is one of our favorite tracks to come to, so maybe we can get a win Sunday.”

GREG BIFFLE Qualified 14th: “It was a pretty good run but we were just a hair too loose. We struggled with our practice plan and we tried to start it out in qualifying and it wasn’t that good so we switched to race trim and got real happy with the car. It was just a little too loose out there today. I think I have a really good car for tomorrow though.”

CARL EDWARDS Qualified 7th: “I am not going to tell you exactly what I did wrong but I know it was something. Bob and I were just talking about it and he wrote about a page of notes. It is good to be frustrated about not getting the pole there because I thought we were going to be way slow with these track temperatures but our Aflac Fusion has been really good and it is going to be a good race. If we start sixth, seventh or eighth then I think we are going to have a really good shot at this race and that would mean a lot to me.”

Kyle Busch struggled in practice, but qualified well
KYLE BUSCH Starting 3rd: “A lot better than we expected. The M&M’s Camry — the guys did a good job with it and gave me a good piece to run a good lap. That’s all we can ask for. We’ve been having sort of a struggle this weekend so far, and trying to make something out of nothing here. So far, the guys did a great job going back and working through their notes and giving me something that was good to qualify. Hopefully, this will translate into something better tomorrow.”

“It was a really good lap for us today. We were kind of thrown a little bit off balance yesterday with as much changes that we were doing and the practice schedule the way it was. We kind of got lost for a little while. But, Dave (Rogers, crew chief) and the guys did a really good job overnight looking at their notes and getting us to where we had a comfortable car there in qualifying. We laid a nice lap down even considering the draw. It seemed like it was better for the guys to go out early like that and we didn’t quite play the game as smart as we should have, but if we would’ve had the car even that much better and we would’ve had a better draw we could’ve been on the pole today. We’ll take a third for sure considering how our day was yesterday.”

BRIAN VICKERS Starting 4th: “This weekend has been good. We started off slow in practice, but we made some major adjustments going into the second practice. I’m really happy with the car. Hopefully, we’ll stay up there in the top five and have a good race.”

JOEY LOGANO Starting 5th: “Our run was pretty good. I think the track has given up grip since the beginning of qualifying here. You see a lot of cars that weren’t really fast in practice that are up there. I think the track has a little bit to do with it. Our Home Depot Camry was really fast and it’s really good. I feel like we’re really good in race trim too. They made some good changes yesterday that I feel like is going to give us a bigger window to adjust on our car during the race. I’m excited about that.”

DENNY HAMLIN Starting 15th: “Yeah. I was pretty happy with it by the end of practice yesterday. We need to fine tune it a little bit. But, not making a qualifying run makes it a little tough to predict what it’s going to do in these conditions. The track is wearing out quite a bit which should make passing a little easier. So, that part of it is encouraging.”

KASEY KAHNE Starting 17th: “We were kind of on the loose side yesterday into the corner and off the corner. Made some gains during practice. I think the track is going to slippery tomorrow. It should be an interesting race. I look forward to it.”

Kurt Busch is sitting on the pole (Getty)
KURT BUSCH Qualified 1st: “We feel like we picked up a lot of speed for qualifying with some of our adjustments. It’s nice that we can find that some days; other days it bites you. This has always been a tough mile-and-a-half track for me. It’s flat, but the track still has a lot of speed in it if you hit it just right. We just didn’t hit it right yesterday in practice. We feel like we’ve got some speed in the AAA Dodge. Tomorrow is going to be a hot, blistering day. This place, it’s really fast if you hit your setup just right. Otherwise, you’re sliding all around.”

“We were very loose with one of our (practice) setups and just on the snug side with the other one, so we’ll shoot for the middle. The race here is a tough one. If you’re stuck in the back, it’s very hard to make up track position. You just want a nice smooth day on the track and on pit road.”

BRAD KESELOWSKI Qualified 25th: “We didn’t have the lap we wanted to run. The heat was a factor, but we were expecting a better lap. We’re OK with our race setup, but obviously we’re not going to have very good track position. Strategy will be very important tomorrow. Hopefully, we’ve got the right one.”

JEFF GORDON ON KANSAS AFTER QUALIFYING 22ND: “If you are talking about saving fuel under caution, it is a whole different set of scenarios and much easier to do. You basically can just pick up a little speed and shut the engine off. If you are talking about saving fuel under green, it is near impossible. You have to slow the lap time down so much in order to save enough to go an extra lap or a half-of-a-lap that to me, it is really not doable. The only time I’ve ever really seen it done was Tony Stewart at Pocono (Raceway) and I’m still not sure how he did it. I don’t know if he was shutting the engine off on the lap and he had that big of a lead that he could give up that much time. That is what it appears. He had such a lead because of others coming in that he was able to do some extreme things. So, unless you are in that kind of scenario, to me it is only about saving fuel under caution.”

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